Down the Columbia to Tidewater
Down the Columbia to Tidewater
The voyagers were now drifting down the Columbia River, and they found the way impeded by many rapids, some of them very dangerous. But their skill in the handling of their canoes seems to have been equal to the occasion, although they were sometimes compelled to go around the more difficult rapids, making a short land portage. When they had travelled about forty miles down the river, they landed opposite an island on which were twenty-four houses of Indians; the people, known as the Pishquitpahs, were engaged in drying fish. No sooner had the white men landed than the Indians, to the number of one hundred, came across the stream bringing with them some firewood, a most welcome present in that treeless country. The visitors were entertained with presents and a long smoke at the pipe of peace. So pleased were they with the music of two violins played by Cruzatte and Gibson, of the exploring party, that they remained by the fire of the white men all night. The news of the arrival of the white strangers soon spread, and next morning about two hundred more of the Indians assembled to gaze on them. Later in the day, having gotten away from their numerous inquisitive visitors, the explorers passed down-stream and landed on a small island to examine a curious vault, in which were placed the remains of the dead of the tribe. The journal says:--
"This place, in which the dead are deposited, is a building about sixty feet long and twelve feet wide, formed by placing in the ground poles or forks six feet high, across which a long pole is extended the whole length of the structure; against this ridge-pole are placed broad boards and pieces of canoes, in a slanting direction, so as to form a shed. It stands cast and west, and neither of the extremities is closed. On entering the western end we observed a number of bodies wrapped carefully in leather robes, and arranged in rows on boards, which were then covered with a mat. This was the part destined for those who had recently died; a little further on, bones half decayed were scattered about, and in the centre of the building was a large pile of them heaped promiscuously on each other. At the eastern extremity was a mat, on which twenty-one skulls were placed in a circular form; the mode of interment being first to wrap the body in robes, then as it decays to throw the bones into the heap, and place the skulls together. From the different boards and pieces of canoes which form the vault were suspended, on the inside, fishing-nets, baskets, wooden bowls, robes, skins, trenchers, and trinkets of various kinds, obviously intended as offerings of affection to deceased relatives. On the outside of the vault were the skeletons of several horses, and great quantities of their bones were in the neighborhood, which induced us to believe that these animals were most probably sacrificed at the funeral rites of their masters."
Just below this stand the party met Indians who traded with tribes living near the great falls of the Columbia. That place they designated as "Tum-tum," a word that signifies the throbbing of the heart. One of these Indians had a sailor's jacket, and others had a blue blanket and a scarlet blanket. These articles had found their way up the river from white traders on the seashore.
On the twenty-first of October the explorers discovered a considerable stream which appeared to rise in the southeast and empty into the Columbia on the left. To this stream they gave the name of Lepage for Bastien Lepage, one of the voyageurs accompanying the party. The watercourse, however, is now known as John Day's River. John Day was a mighty hunter and backwoodsman from Kentucky who went across the continent, six years later, with a party bound for Astoria, on the Columbia. From the rapids below the John Day River the Lewis and Clark party caught their first sight of Mount Hood, a famous peak of the Cascade range of mountains, looming up in the southwest, eleven thousand two hundred and twenty-five feet high. Next day they passed the mouth of another river entering the Columbia from the south and called by the Indians the Towahnahiooks, but known to modern geography as the Des Chutes, one of the largest southern tributaries of the Columbia. Five miles below the mouth of this stream the party camped. Near them was a party of Indians engaged in drying and packing salmon. Their method of doing this is thus described:--
"The manner of doing this is by first opening the fish and exposing it to the sun on scaffolds. When it is sufficiently dried it is pounded between two stones till it is pulverized, and is then placed in a basket about two feet long and one in diameter, neatly made of grass and rushes, and lined with the skin of a salmon stretched and dried for the purpose. Here the fish are pressed down as hard as possible, and the top is covered with fish-skins, which are secured by cords through the holes of the basket. These baskets are then placed in some dry situation, the corded part upward, seven being usually placed as close as they can be put together, and five on the top of these. The whole is then wrapped up in mats, and made fast by cords, over which mats are again thrown. Twelve of these baskets, each of which contains from ninety to one hundred pounds, form a stack, which is left exposed till it is sent to market. The fish thus preserved keep sound and sweet for several years, and great quantities, they inform us, are sent to the Indians who live below the falls, whence it finds its way to the whites who visit the mouth of the Columbia. We observe, both near the lodges and on the rocks in the river, great numbers of stacks of these pounded fish. Besides fish, these people supplied us with filberts and berries, and we purchased a dog for supper; but it was with much difficulty that we were able to buy wood enough to cook it."
On the twenty-third the voyagers made the descent of the great falls which had so long been an object of dread to them. The whole height of the falls is thirty-seven feet, eight inches, in a distance of twelve hundred yards. A portage of four hundred and fifty yards was made around the first fall, which is twenty feet high, and perpendicular. By means of lines the canoes were let down the rapids below. At the season of high water the falls become mere rapids up which the salmon can pass. On this point the journal says:--
"From the marks everywhere perceivable at the falls, it is obvious that in high floods, which must be in the spring, the water below the falls rises nearly to a level with that above them. Of this rise, which is occasioned by some obstructions which we do not as yet know, the salmon must avail themselves to pass up the river in such multitudes that this fish is almost the only one caught in great abundance above the falls; but below that place we observe the salmon-trout, and the heads of a species of trout smaller than the salmon-trout, which is in great quantities, and which they are now burying, to be used as their winter food. A hole of any size being dug, the sides and bottom are lined with straw, over which skins are laid; on these the fish, after being well dried, are laid, covered with other skins, and the hole is closed with a layer of earth twelve or fifteen inches deep.
. . . . . . . . .
We saw no game except a sea-otter, which was shot in the narrow channel as we were coming down, but we could not get it. Having, therefore, scarcely any provisions, we purchased eight small fat dogs: a food to which we were compelled to have recourse, as the Indians were very unwilling to sell us any of their good fish, which they reserved for the market below. Fortunately, however, habit had completely overcome the repugnance which we felt at first at eating this animal, and the dog, if not a favorite dish, was always an acceptable one. The meridian altitude of to-day gave 45'0 42' 57.3" north as the latitude of our camp.
"On the beach, near the Indian huts, we observed two canoes of a different shape and size from any which we had hitherto seen. One of these we got by giving our smallest canoe a hatchet, and a few trinkets to the owner, who said he had obtained it from a white man below the falls in exchange for a horse. These canoes were very beautifully made: wide in the middle, and tapering towards each end, with curious figures carved on the bow. They were thin, but, being strengthened by crossbars about an inch in diameter, tied with strong pieces of bark through holes in the sides, were able to bear very heavy burdens, and seemed calculated to live in the roughest water."
At this point the officers of the expedition observed signs of uneasiness in the two friendly Indian chiefs who had thus far accompanied them. They also heard rumors that the warlike Indians below them were meditating an attack as the party went down. The journal says:--
"Being at all times ready for any attempt of that sort, we were not under greater apprehensions than usual at this intelligence. We therefore only re-examined our arms, and increased the ammunition to one hundred rounds. Our chiefs, who had not the same motives of confidence, were by no means so much at their ease, and when at night they saw the Indians leave us earlier than usual, their suspicions of an intended attack were confirmed, and they were very much alarmed.
"The Indians approached us with apparent caution, and behaved with more than usual reserve. Our two chiefs, by whom these circumstances were not observed, now told us that they wished to return home; that they could be no longer of any service to us; that they could not understand the language of the people below the falls; that those people formed a different nation from their own; that the two people had been at war with each other; and that as the Indians had expressed a resolution to attack us, they would certainly kill them. We endeavored to quiet their fears, and requested them to stay two nights longer, in which time we would see the Indians below, and make a peace between the two nations. They replied that they were anxious to return and see their horses. We however insisted on their remaining with us, not only in hopes of bringing about an accommodation between them and their enemies, but because they might be able to detect any hostile designs against us, and also assist us in passing the next falls, which are not far off, and represented as very difficult. They at length agreed to stay with us two nights longer."
The explorers now arrived at the next fall of the Columbia. Here was a quiet basin, on the margin of which were three Indian huts. The journal tells the rest of the story:--
"At the extremity of this basin stood a high black rock, which, rising perpendicularly from the right shore, seemed to run wholly across the river: so totally, indeed, did it appear to stop the passage, that we could not see where the water escaped, except that the current was seemingly drawn with more than usual velocity to the left of the rock, where was heard a great roaring. We landed at the huts of the Indians, who went with us to the top of the rock, from which we had a view of all the difficulties of the channel. We were now no longer at a loss to account for the rising of the river at the falls; for this tremendous rock was seen stretching across the river, to meet the high hills on the left shore, leaving a channel of only forty-five yards wide, through which the whole body of the Columbia pressed its way. The water, thus forced into so narrow a passage, was thrown into whirls, and swelled and boiled in every part with the wildest agitation. But the alternative of carrying the boats over this high rock was almost impossible in our present situation; and as the chief danger seemed to be, not from any obstructions in the channel, but from the great waves and whirlpools, we resolved to attempt the passage, in the hope of being able, by dexterous steering, to descend in safety. This we undertook, and with great care were able to get through, to the astonishment of the Indians in the huts we had just passed, who now collected to see us from the top of the rock. The channel continued thus confined for the space of about half a mile, when the rock ceased. We passed a single Indian hut at the foot of it, where the river again enlarges to the width of two hundred yards, and at the distance of a mile and a half stopped to view a very bad rapid; this is formed by two rocky islands which divide the channel, the lower and larger of which is in the middle of the river. The appearance of this place was so unpromising that we unloaded all the most valuable articles, such as guns, ammunition, our papers,. etc., and sent them by land, with all the men that could not swim, to the extremity of these rapids. We then descended with the canoes, two at a time; though the canoes took in some water, we all went through safely; after which we made two miles, stopped in a deep bend of the river toward the right, and camped a little above a large village of twenty-one houses. Here we landed; and as it was late before all the canoes joined us, we were obliged to remain this evening, the difficulties of the navigation having permitted us to make only six miles."
They were then among the Echeloots, a tribe of the Upper Chinooks, now nearly extinct. The white men were much interested in the houses of these people, which, their journal set forth, were "the first wooden buildings seen since leaving the Illinois country." This is the manner of their construction:--
"A large hole, twenty feet wide and thirty in length, was dug to the depth of six feet; the sides of which were lined with split pieces of timber rising just above the surface of the ground, and smoothed to the same width by burning, or by being shaved with small iron axes. These timbers were secured in their erect position by a pole stretched along the side of the building near the eaves, and supported on a strong post fixed at each corner. The timbers at the gable ends rose gradually higher, the middle pieces being the broadest. At the top of these was a sort of semicircle, made to receive a ridge-pole the whole length of the house, propped by an additional post in the middle, and forming the top of the roof. From this ridge-pole to the eaves of the house were placed a number of small poles or rafters, secured at each end by fibres of the cedar. On these poles, which were connected by small transverse bars of wood, was laid a covering of white cedar, or arbor vitae, kept on by strands of cedar fibres; but a small space along the whole length of the ridge-pole was left uncovered, for the purpose of light, and of permitting the smoke to pass out. The roof, thus formed, had a descent about equal to that common among us, and near the eaves it was perforated with a number of small holes, made, most probably, for the discharge of arrows in case of an attack. The only entrance was by a small door at the gable end, cut out of the middle piece of timber, twenty-nine and a half inches high, fourteen inches broad, and reaching only eighteen inches above the earth. Before this hole is hung a mat; on pushing it aside and crawling through, the descent is by a small wooden ladder, made in the form of those used among us. One-half of the inside is used as a place of deposit for dried fish, of which large quantities are stored away, and with a few baskets of berries form the only family provisions; the other half, adjoining the door, remains for the accommodation of the family. On each side are arranged near the walls small beds of mats placed on little scaffolds or bedsteads, raised from eighteen inches to three feet from the ground; and in the middle of the vacant space is the fire, or sometimes two or three fires, when, as is usually the case, the house contains three families."
Houses very like these are built by the Ahts or Nootkas, a tribe of Indians inhabiting parts of Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland. A Nootka calls his house an ourt.
The good offices of Lewis and Clark, who were always ready to make peace between hostile tribes, were again successful here. The Echeloots received the white men with much kindness, invited them to their houses, and returned their visits after the explorers had camped. Lewis and Clark told the Echeloot chiefs that the war was destroying them and their industries, bringing want and privation upon them. The Indians listened with attention to what was said, and after some talk they agreed to make peace with their ancient enemies. Impressed with the sincerity of this agreement, the captains of the expedition invested the principal chief with a medal and some small articles of clothing. The two faithful chiefs who had accompanied the white men from the headwaters of the streams now bade farewell to their friends and allies, the explorers. They bought horses of the Echeloots and returned to their distant homes by land.
Game here became more abundant, and on the twenty-sixth of October the journal records the fact that they received from the Indians a present of deer-meat, and on that day their hunters found plenty of tracks of elk and deer in the mountains, and they brought in five deer, four very large gray squirrels, and a grouse. Besides these delicacies, one of the men killed in the river a salmon-trout which was fried in bear's oil and, according to the journal, "furnished a dish of a very delightful flavor," doubtless a pleasing change from the diet of dog's flesh with which they had so recently been regaled.
Two of the Echeloot chiefs remained with the white men to guide them on their way down the river. These were joined by seven others of their tribe, to whom the explorers were kind and attentive. But the visitors could not resist the temptation to pilfer from the goods exposed to dry in the sun. Being checked in this sly business, they became ill-humored and returned, angry, down the river.
The explorers noticed here that the Indians flattened the heads of males as well as females. Higher up the river, only the women and female children had flat heads. The custom of artificially flattening the heads of both men and women, in infancy, was formerly practised by nearly all the tribes of the Chinook family along the Columbia River. Various means are used to accomplish this purpose, the most common and most cruel being to bind a flat board on the forehead of an infant in such a way that it presses on the skull and forces the forehead up on to the top of the head. As a man whose head has been flattened in infancy grows older, the deformity partly disappears; but the flatness of the head is always regarded as a tribal badge of great merit.
"On the morning of the twenty-eighth," says the journal, having dried our goods, we were about setting out, when three canoes came from above to visit us, and at the same time two others from below arrived for the same purpose. Among these last was an Indian who wore his hair in a que, and had on a round hat and a sailor's jacket, which he said he had obtained from the people below the great rapids, who bought them from the whites. This interview detained us till nine o'clock, when we proceeded down the river, which is now bordered with cliffs of loose dark colored rocks about ninety feet high, with a thin covering of pines and other small trees. At the distance of four miles we reached a small village of eight houses under some high rocks on the right with a small creek on the opposite side of the river.
"We landed and found the houses similar to those we had seen at the great narrows; on entering one of them we saw a British musket, a cutlass, and several brass tea-kettles, of which they seemed to be very fond. There were figures of men, birds, and different animals, which were cut and painted on the boards which form the sides of the room; though the workmanship of these uncouth figures was very rough, they were highly esteemed by the Indians as the finest frescos of more civilized people. This tribe is called the Chilluckittequaw; their language, though somewhat different from that of the Echeloots, has many of the same words, and is sufficiently intelligible to the neighboring Indians. We procured from them a vocabulary, and then, after buying five small dogs, some dried berries, and a white bread or cake made of roots, we left them. The wind, however, rose so high that we were obliged, after going one mile, to land on the left side, opposite a rocky island, and pass the day."
On the same day the white chiefs visited one of the most prominent of the native houses built along the river.
"This," says the journal, "was the residence of the principal chief of the Chilluckittequaw nation, who we found was the same between whom and our two chiefs we had made a peace at the Echeloot village. He received us, very kindly, and set before us pounded fish, filberts, nuts, the berries of the sacacommis, and white bread made of roots. We gave, in return, a bracelet of ribbon to each of the women of the house, with which they were very much pleased. The chief had several articles, such as scarlet and blue cloth, a sword, a jacket, and a hat, which must have been procured from the whites, and on one side of the room were two wide, split boards, placed together so as to make space for a rude figure of a man cut and painted on them. On pointing to this, and asking him what it meant, he said something, of which all that we understood was `good,' and then stepped up to the painting, and took out his bow and quiver, which, with some other warlike instruments, were kept behind it.
"He then directed his wife to hand him his medicine-bag, from which he drew out fourteen forefingers, which he told us had belonged to the same number of his enemies, whom he had killed in fighting with the nations to the southeast, in which direction he pointed; alluding, no doubt, to the Snake Indians, the common enemy of the tribes on the Columbia. This bag is usually about two feet in length, and contains roots, pounded dirt, etc., which only the Indians know how to appreciate. It is suspended in the middle of the lodge; and it is considered as a species of sacrilege for any one but the owner to touch it. It is an object of religious fear; and, from its supposed sanctity, is the chief place for depositing their medals and more valuable articles. They have likewise small bags, which they preserve in their great medicine-bag, from whence they are taken, and worn around their waists and necks as amulets against any real or imaginary evils. This was the first time we had been apprised that the Indians ever carried from the field any other trophy than the scalp. These fingers were shown with great exultation; and, after an harangue, which we were left to presume was in praise of his exploits, the chief carefully replaced them among the valuable contents of his red medicine-bag. The inhabitants of this village being part of the same nation with those of the village we had passed above, the language of the two was the same, and their houses were of similar form and materials, and calculated to contain about thirty souls. They were unusually hospitable and good-humored, so that we gave to the place the name of the Friendly village. We breakfasted here; and after purchasing twelve dogs, four sacks of fish, and a few dried berries, proceeded on our journey. The hills as we passed were high, with steep, rocky sides, with pine and white oak, and an undergrowth of shrubs scattered over them."
Leaving the Friendly village, the party went on their way down the river. Four miles below they came to a small and rapid river which they called the Cataract River, but which is now known as the Klikitat. The rapids of the stream, according to the Indians, were so numerous that salmon could not ascend it, and the Indians who lived along its banks subsisted on what game they could kill with their bows and arrows and on the berries which, in certain seasons, were plentiful. Again we notice the purchase of dogs; this time only four were bought, and the party proceeded on their way. That night, having travelled thirty-two miles, they camped on the right bank of the river in what is now Skamania County, Washington. Three huts were inhabited by a considerable number of Indians, of whom the journal has this to say:--
"On our first arrival they seemed surprised, but not alarmed, and we soon became intimate by means of smoking and our favorite entertainment for the Indians, the violin. They gave us fruit, roots, and root-bread, and we purchased from them three dogs. The houses of these people are similar to those of the Indians above, and their language is the same; their dress also, consisting of robes or skins of wolves, deer, elk, and wildcat, is made nearly after the same model; their hair is worn in plaits down each shoulder, and round their neck is put a strip of some skin with the tail of the animal hanging down over the breast; like the Indians above, they are fond of otter-skins, and give a great price for them. We here saw the skin of a mountain sheep, which they say lives among the rocks in the mountains; the skin was covered with white hair; the wool was long, thick, and coarse, with long coarse hair on the top of the neck and on the back, resembling somewhat the bristles of a goat. Immediately behind the village is a pond, in which were great numbers of small swan."
The "mountain sheep" mentioned here are not the bighorn of which we have heard something in the earlier part of this narrative, but a species of wild goat found among the Cascade Mountains. The "wildcat" above referred to is probably that variety of lynx known in Canada and most of the Northern States and the Pacific as the loup-cervier, or vulgarly, the "lucifee."
On the last day of October, the next of the more difficult rapids being near, Captain Clark went ahead to examine the "shoot," as the explorers called the place which we know as the chute. In the thick wood that bordered the river he found an ancient burial-place which he thus describes:--
"It consists of eight vaults made of pine or cedar boards closely connected, about eight feet square and six in height; the top covered with wide boards sloping a little, so as to convey off the rain. The direction of all of these vaults is east and west, the door being on the eastern side, partially stopped with wide boards decorated with rude pictures of men and other animals. On entering he found in some of them four dead bodies, carefully wrapped in skins, tied with cords of grass and bark, lying on a mat, in a direction east and west. The other vaults contained only bones, which were in some of them piled to the height of four feet. On the tops of the vaults, and on poles attached to them, bung brass kettles and frying-pans with holes in their bottoms, baskets, bowls, sea-shells, skins, pieces of cloth, hair, bags of trinkets and small bones--the offerings of friendship or affection, which have been saved by a pious veneration from the ferocity of war, or the more dangerous temptations of individual gain. The whole of the walls as well as the door were decorated with strange figures cut and painted on them; and besides were several wooden images of men, some so old and decayed as to have almost lost their shape, which were all placed against the sides of the vaults. These images, as well as those in the houses we have lately seen, do not appear to be at all the objects of adoration; in this place they were most probably intended as resemblances of those whose decease they indicate; when we observe them in houses, they occupy the most conspicuous part, but are treated more like ornaments than objects of worship."
The white men were visited at their camp by many Indians from the villages farther up the stream. The journal says:--
"We had an opportunity of seeing to-day the hardihood of the Indians of the neighboring village. One of the men shot a goose, which fell into the river and was floating rapidly toward the great shoot, when an Indian observing it plunged in after it. The whole mass of the waters of the Columbia, just preparing to descend its narrow channel, carried the animal down with great rapidity. The Indian followed it fearlessly to within one hundred and fifty feet of the rocks, where he would inevitably have been dashed to pieces; but seizing his prey he turned round and swam ashore with great composure. We very willingly relinquished our right to the bird in favor of the Indian who had thus saved it at the imminent hazard of his life; he immediately set to work and picked off about half the feathers, and then, without opening it, ran a stick through it and carried it off to roast."
With many hair's-breadth escapes, the expedition now passed through the rapids or "great shoot." The river here is one hundred and fifty yards wide and the rapids are confined to an area four hundred yards long, crowded with islands and rocky ledges. They found the Indians living along the banks of the stream to be kindly disposed; but they had learned, by their intercourse with tribes living below, to set a high value on their wares. They asked high prices for anything they had for sale. The journal says:--
"We cannot learn precisely the nature of the trade carried on by the Indians with the inhabitants below. But as their knowledge of the whites seems to be very imperfect, and as the only articles which they carry to market, such as pounded fish, bear-grass, and roots, cannot be an object of much foreign traffic, their intercourse appears to be an intermediate trade with the natives near the mouth of the Columbia. From them these people obtain, in exchange for their fish, roots, and bear-grass, blue and white beads, copper tea-kettles, brass armbands, some scarlet and blue robes, and a few articles of old European clothing. But their great object is to obtain beads, an article which holds the first place in their ideas of relative value, and to procure which they will sacrifice their last article of clothing or last mouthful of food. Independently of their fondness for them as an ornament, these beads are the medium of trade, by which they obtain from the Indians still higher up the river, robes, skins, chappelel bread, bear-grass, etc. Those Indians in turn employ them to procure from the Indians in the Rocky Mountains, bear-grass, pachico-roots, robes, etc.
"These Indians are rather below the common size, with high cheek-bones; their noses are pierced, and in full dress ornamented with a tapering piece of white shell or wampum about two inches long. Their eyes are exceedingly sore and weak; many of them have only a single eye, and some are perfectly blind. Their teeth prematurely decay, and in frequent instances are altogether worn away. Their general health, however, seems to be good, the only disorder we have remarked being tumors in different parts of the body."
The more difficult rapid was passed on the second day of November, the luggage being sent down by land and the empty canoes taken down with great care. The journal of that date says:--
"The rapid we have just passed is the last of all the descents of the Columbia. At this place the first tidewater commences, and the river in consequence widens immediately below the rapid. As we descended we reached, at the distance of one mile from the rapid, a creek under a bluff on the left; at three miles is the lower point of Strawberry Island. To this immediately succeed three small islands covered with wood. In the meadow to the right, at some distance from the hills, stands a perpendicular rock about eight hundred feet high and four hundred yards around the base. This we called Beacon Rock. Just below is an Indian village of nine houses, situated between two small creeks. At this village the river widens to nearly a mile in extent; the low grounds become wider, and they as well as the mountains on each side are covered with pine, spruce-pine, cottonwood, a species of ash, and some alder. After being so long accustomed to the dreary nakedness of the country above, the change is as grateful to the eye as it is useful in supplying us with fuel. Four miles from the village is a point of land on the right, where the hills become lower, but are still thickly timbered. The river is now about two miles wide, the current smooth and gentle, and the effect of the tide has been sensible since leaving the rapid. Six miles lower is a rock rising from the middle of the river to the height of one hundred feet, and about eighty yards at its base. We continued six miles further, and halted for the night under a high projecting rock on the left side of the river, opposite the point of a large meadow.
"The mountains, which, from the great shoot to this place, are high, rugged, and thickly covered with timber, chiefly of the pine species, here leave the river on each side; the river becomes two and one-half miles in width; the low grounds are extensive and well supplied with wood. The Indians whom we left at the portage passed us on their way down the river, and seven others, who were descending in a canoe for the purpose of trading below, camped with us. We had made from the foot of the great shoot twenty-nine miles to-day. The ebb tide rose at our camp about nine inches; the flood must rise much higher. We saw great numbers of water-fowl, such as swan, geese, ducks of various kinds, gulls, plovers, and the white and gray brant, of which last we killed eighteen."