Project Canterbury

The Far and Furry North

By the Rev. A.C. Garrioch

Manitoba: no publisher, 1925.

Chapter 6. Mr. Snow's First Winter in the North

The remainder of the brigade with which Mr. Snow continued his voyage northward consisted of three boats, and these were manned chiefly by men of the Slavic and Tukudh tribes. The country of the former surrounds Great Slave Lake, and extends down the MacKenzie some distance north of Fort Norman. Thence lies the country of the Tukudh, which extends down the MacKenzie as far as Forts McPherson and Lapierre House, which are the main trading places for this tribe. Beyond this, still northward, lies the country of the Eskimo.

The following were the officers and missionaries who embarked at Fort Simpson: Rev. Mr. Snow; Mr. Laronde, officer in charge at Fort Norman; Mr. T. Marston, officer in charge at Fort Good Hope; Rev. Père Vital, a Roman Catholic priest, who was to winter at Fort Norman; Mr. James Winters, officer in charge at Fort McPherson; Mr. Thomas Brown, officer in charge at Lapierre House.

The usual style of travelling down the MacKenzie was adopted--the boats travelled apart by day but were fastened together by night. Three times a day a landing was made long enough to "boil the kettle," and sometimes to do a little hasty cooking.

Mr. Winters was head officer in the brigade and extended hospitality to the missionaries by inviting them to join the officers' mess, which was served in the sternsheets of his boat.

In its dealings with the missionaries of the two churches the policy of the Hudson's Bay Company was admirably non-partisan, and the dignified and tactful manner in which representative officials such as Mr. Winters carried out the policy, gave unprejudiced observers the impression that they were more liberal minded than the missionaries themselves. The presence of a priest and an Anglican missionary at the officers' mess on this journey was no uncommon situation in the North; and as Mr. Winters well knew, called for very careful handling; so at the first meal he called upon the priest to ask a blessing and on Mr. Snow to return thanks; but the next time he varied this order by asking Mr. Snow to ask a blessing and the priest to return thanks. It was a little awkward, however, when one morning he forgot who had asked a blessing the evening before, and no one was disposed to say. This incident created a little amusement, but no unpleasantness, and at the earnest request of the priest, who was a good man and a thorough gentleman, it was arranged that in future his part would be to return thanks. When Mr. Winters thanked him for so pleasantly settling the matter, he replied, "I am sure, Mr. Winters, that Mr. Snow, like myself, has come to this country to do greater things than say grace, and so long as we are intent on honouring Him in Whose service we have both come to this country, never fear that we shall make trouble over a little matter of this kind."

Mr. Brown, who was a young Scotsman, said, "I think you are very wise, Pere, to settle these little difficulties in such an easy and pleasant way; but I suppose when it comes to more serious ones you have to say, as we sometimes do in the fur trade--'Competition is the life of trade.'"

Mr. Snow said, "I am only arriving in the country; but already I have had that motto quoted for my benefit. I would like to have your opinion, Mr. Winters, as to the results of such missionary work as has been carried on in the North, and the manner in which it has been affected by the divisions referred to. You have lived longer in the North than any of us; then you are a layman, and a Presbyterian at that, so that your position, unlike that of the Père and myself, may be called non-official, and leaves you more free to say just what you think."

The others having heartily joined in this request, Mr. Winters said, "And so I find myself let in for a 'discoorse,' which it would seem I owe to my unfortunate lapse of memory in the matter of grace. Well, gentlemen, I shall be brief. My text is from Brown's gospel--'Competition is the life of trade.' We are certainly familiar with this proverb in our business of the fur trade, although it cannot be said that in practice it has worked out to the satisfaction of the Hudson's Bay Company. Take for instance, the effects of the competition in the Peace River country, in regard to which I have no hesitation in staying that if it is carried on for an entire century as it has been for the past two decades, it will not only be the death of the trade, but of one or more of the Indian tribes as well. We know what happened to the North-West and Hudson's Bay Companies when they were in competition for the trade of this country. Competition so nearly ruined the business of both that at length they deemed it wise to unite.

"Having thus approached the question of missionary work in the North upon which you have asked my opinion, I am pleased to be able to say that the results, taken as a whole, have been beneficial to the natives and so the Company's people as well; but that, in certain localities any good done has been pretty well offset by the harm resulting from opposition, that is, contradictory teaching by two or more missionaries. The right name for such a condition of things is not competition but division. In conclusion permit me to quote the highest authority we have as to the effects of division--'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.' I ask unofficially, and I trust unofficiously, if, after that, we are free to infer that the church may be divided against itself without interfering with the fulfilment of the promise that 'the gates of hell would not prevail against it?'"

By this time the boats were close together, and the missionaries, after thanking Mr. Winters for his instructive remarks, arose and moved over to their respective boats.

That same evening, when the boats were once more fastened together and were being borne along by the current, the conversation again took a religious turn; but this time it might be said that the speakers trod on thicker ice, as they did not discuss the Christian religion in particular, but religion as found to exist among the native tribes when the Whites first came among them.

This was a subject on which Père Vital was particularly well versed, as he was not only familiar with the records of the Jesuit Fathers, but had made investigations on his own account since taking up work in the North, with the result that he was led to concur in the conclusion which others had arrived at who had made a study of the question. And those conclusions were to the effect that the natives had from the first a firm belief in the existence of at least one great spirit, to whom a name was applied or allusion made according to the language or peculiar ideas of each tribe. Their conception of this great spirit was that of a being terrible in power, and in keeping with this belief they greatly feared him, attributing their hardships, particularly starvation and disease, to his displeasure. Strange to say, they all fell short of that worthy conception of God--that of a Being who is loving and lovable.

Mr. Winters said, "I am sure Père Vital, that your deductions are correct, although I have a strong suspicion that some of the things we are told about the original beliefs of one or other of the Indian tribes are pure inventions of a story-teller either Red or White. The one thing that appeals to me as a proof that the Indians of old believed in a world of spirits, is the fact that this belief has been perpetuated by a succession of conjurors and medicine men. These men--call them what you like--are no modern inventors or inventions, and they are no adjuncts of civilization; but they present to us the spectacle of men groping in the dark, just as we know their predecessors did 'in the dark shades of ancient days' many centuries ago."

The question now came under discussion as to whether these Indian conjurors did really hold communication with spirits of some place unknown. Mr. Brown was of the opinion that they did, "And more than that," said he, "I don't think the spirits can be any worse than some of the embodied ones with whom we have to do here on earth."

Mr. Winters said, "Mr. Brown reminds me of the Irishman who found it hard to say, 'I renounce the devil' because he said he found it paid to be good friends with everybody, even 'furiners.' However, I am disposed to agree with Mr. Brown in the opinion that some Indian conjurors do hold communication with invisible beings; but I would not venture any opinion as to the character of these foreigners. Perhaps one of these days scientists will discover astounding principles or laws in the natural world which will practically annihilate distance, and render easy of explanation telepathy, spiritualism and other present-day puzzles. And perhaps this wonderful knowledge will be merely a discovery of the vehicle of communication between the present and the absent which the Indian conjuror had stumbled across it may be thousands of years before, which, as used by him in his simplicity was a proof to the members of his tribe that there is a Munitoo (God) and the scientist will doubtless arrive at the same conclusion after he has carried out his investigations to the inevitable finish. But I dare say a good conjuring story would be more interesting than these speculations of mine. Mr. Laronde, would you mind telling us that story of the conjuring performance which you witnessed on the Peace River?"

Mr. Laronde was one of the senior officers in the service, a very quiet man and much respected. Finding that the others were thoroughly interested, he complied with Mr. Winters' request and told the following story.

"This happened at Fort Dunvegan when Mr. Baynon was in charge, and I as a young clerk, was his assistant. At the time of my story I was temporarily in charge, as Mr. Baynon had accompanied the brigade on the annual trip to York Factory. When autumn came, I studied the journals with much interest. It had once happened that the boats had frozen in before reaching the fort, and as the day drew near on which this had happened, there was considerable uneasiness, particularly as there were unmistakable signs of winter being near. The Indians by this time were all in and were growing anxious to get their winter supplies. You know how quickly Indians take a despondent view of things, and a hundred times a day you would hear intaodetla or ayimun, the Beaver and Cree respectively for hard and difficult. At length this sort of thing became unbearable to Mrs. Baynon, and there being at this time a noted conjuror, a Salteaux by the name of Mamaskach, the wonderful, she asked me to bargain with him for ten skins of information about Mr. Baynon and the brigade. This man was believed to be capable of doing extraordinary things, and the general opinion as to the source of his power was that it came from below and not from above. The scamp took no chances, and had to be paid in advance. His charge of ten M. B. was reasonable enough, considering that he had to build a special lodge. The poles for this structure were of good size and well sunk into the ground and fastened securely at the top. The covering, like that of an ordinary lodge, was made of dressed moose hide. The next thing was to bind the conjuror hand and foot. This seemed to me to be done very thoroughly, and when I looked down on Mamaskach lying in an entangled heap in the centre of the tent, with nothing near him except his drum and medicine bag, his case looked to me to present a knotty problem whose unravelling would need the help of some intelligent beings with good strong fingers; and before I backed out and stood guard at the door I took particular care to see that there was no chance of anyone being concealed within the tent.

"For some minutes nothing happened, except that I could occasionally hear something like a grunt as though Mamaskach was having trouble with the ropes; but very soon he furnished conclusive evidence that he had released himself or had been released, and the noises issuing from within sounded as if he was having company. If he made all those noises unaided, he was, in that respect alone, an extraordinary mortal; for there seemed to be going on simultaneously, drumming, whistling, rattling, singing and shouting, and at the same time the tent was shaking as if afflicted with St. Vitus' dance. Then in the midst of it, out flew the ropes with which he had been bound, from the opening at the top of the tent, After this there was silence for a few minutes, and then Mamaskach, speaking in his natural voice, seemed to be describing a scene which was before him. He said, 'I see the three boats coming round the first point on this side of Smoky River. In the sternsheets of the first one sits Mr. Baynon and a young man whom I have never seen before. He looks like a clerk. In the second boat there is someone who is dressed like a priest, and in the last boat there is a woman and two small children. There is no ice on the river. The men are tracking, and someone must have killed a moose, for I see fresh meat in the boats.'

"The conjuror's picture turned out true in every particular. At five p.m., the hour at which he was conjuring, the boats were rounding the first point west of Smoky River, and everything was just as he described, «ven to the meat, for that morning a moose, taking an early morning walk along the river, had been shot by one of the men."

We now return to the MacKenzie River brigade. Early in the afternoon of the third day after leaving Fort Simpson, it arrived at Fort Norman and for social rather than business reasons, instead of floating onward the same night, remained there until the following morning, for even at Fort Norman the amenities of life had to be respected, and the kindness and good-will which find a place in the bosoms of people the world over were in evidence here, too, and seemed to have gained rather than lost from contact with cold and isolation.

One boat's crew made up of Slavies was to remain here, while two made up of Tukudh were to continue onward, but though these voyageurs were of different tribes, they were of one family--the human family, and there was going to be a wedding in the family, and a general invitation to the wedding was generally accepted. They were all willing to rejoice with those who rejoiced.

In the fort was a Tukudh girl named Maria, who two years before had accompanied Mrs. Laronde from Fort Good Hope, as her maid. Maria was a pupil of Rev. Mr. Browning, Anglican missionary at Fort McPherson, and James Balder, the young Tukudh Maria was marrying, came from the same place and was also one of Mr. Browning's converts. When going up-stream in spring Jim had made good use of the short stay at Fort Norman, and with the assistance of Maria had made the old home ties much more binding, for when Maria had pensively told her friend that she was "thinking long," and would like to dwell among her own people, Jim told her he knew of an easy way in which that could be managed, and when she with assumed innocence asked, "How?" he put the solemn question then and there--"Will you be my wife?" And she, instead of saying, "Oh Jim! This is so sudden!" said "Yes," and thus it came about that there was to be another marriage in the human family.

Maria, being an unselfish girl, she had to share her joy with somebody, and at once told the news to her mistress. Kind-hearted Mrs. Laronde was not taken by surprise. Experienced matrons are not easily surprised in matters of this kind, so she kissed her Indian maid and said, "I knew it was coming: may le Bon Dieu give you much happiness." But she did not leave it all to le Bon Dieu, for she there and then rejoiced the heart of Maria by telling her of the nice little dowry that Mr. Laronde and she had always planned giving her on the day of her marriage.

Weddings in the North were usually quiet affairs, and when a hired man got married he was likely a man above the common if the officer in charge at the fort where the event occurred took part in celebrating it. However, as the groom in this case had been a faithful factotum to more than one officer, and the bride had been the trusted servant of an officer's wife, it was felt that in this instance it would be quite in order for the Company's officers to take a conspicuous part in the proceedings; accordingly Mr. Laronde did not consider it derogatory to his position to act as proxy for Maria's father by giving her away, and Mrs. Laronde on her part was pleased to have her eldest daughter, who was twelve years of age, act as bridesmaid, while Mr. Brown, not to be outdone, supported the groom. With respect to Père Vital, be it said to his everlasting credit, that he, too, was present, swayed--may we not believe--by the spirit of love which rules supreme in the High Church designed for use of the human family, wherein separating mountains of mortal accretion are converted into mole hills which any child of faith may cast into the sea.

After this pleasant delay at Fort Norman, the brigade resumed the voyage next morning, minus a boat and its crew, plus one woman. All day the boats kept in the centre of the immense river and were alternately propelled by oar and current or by current only; but as the sun drew near the horizon a landing was made, and in a little while kettlesful of hot tea were being carried aboard; then the men, resuming their oars, pulled some distance from shore, and there laying down their oars they placed two of them crosswise, and bound the boats securely together for the night. Then as the sun said good-night to the pilgrims, while its departing rays were still touching up the gorgeous autumn foliage which surmounted the banks of the river, the men sat down in groups of three or four and partook of their evening meal. And when that was over they placed themselves in all manner of postures which promised most comfort, and chatted together while they smoked the last pipe of the day. Gradually the shades of night grow darker. Quietly and swiftly the current of the mighty MacKenzie carries them oceanward while the western bank with its trees and hills is mirrored on the surface of the river. O'er head from the dusky vault there twinkle the innumerable starry worlds, which ever inspire in the minds of men and women, thoughts inexpressible of illimitable and unknown glories.

Breaking a silence than which no speech could have been more eloquent, Mr. Winters said, "We were speaking about grand cathedrals today. Tonight we behold the grandest of them all."

"And will you please furnish the music," added Mr. Brown, reaching for Mr. Winters' violin as he spoke; and Mr. Snow having seconded the request with a hearty "do, please!" Mr. Winters took the instrument, which, for an amateur, he could play with wonderful expression. After tuning it, he asked the Tukudh in their language what hymn they would like to sing, and the Christian Leader among them answered in their language, "Nearer My God to Thee." This hymn they sang heartily and in good time, and the violin and the one woman's voice blended in nicely with the voices of the men. Then the Christian Leader and his fellow countrymen said together a short prayer and the Lord's Prayer in their language, following which Mr. Snow said a short prayer and the grace in English; and so closed this unique cathedral service.

Some days later, on arrival at Fort McPherson, and within an hour of that event, a remark made by Mr. Snow was characteristic of the man. Here he was just off a three months' journey which some have called arduous, and on the way he had ministered to the sick, held many religious services, baptized a score of infants and united half that number of adults in the holy state of matrimony. He had been diligently studying several of the Indian languages, and had read his Greek Testament from cover to cover, and after all this he speaks as a man might be expected to do who has just come off a pleasure jaunt--he says to Mr. Browning--"Now I must get to work and do something." He was fresh from a comfortable home in England where often he had sung the words with fervour:

"Waft, waft ye winds the story,
And you, ye waters roll,
Till like a sea of glory
It spreads from pole to pole."

And now he is under constraint to tell that story to the inhabitants who are nearest the pole in the western hemisphere. His objective was the land of the Eskimo. He had grasped the thought of what this world would become if the story of Divine love was faithfully proclaimed everywhere, and the thought of being able to render service to that end appealed to him as a privilege and a duty.

As he was so new to the country both Mr. Browning and Mr. Winters tried to persuade him to defer his sojourn with the Eskimo for a year, or at least for six months; but all to no purpose, and when a party of Eskimo visited the fort to procure winter supplies, he returned with them to their camp.

The Eskimo of these parts were at that time treacherous and thievish, and while as a matter of policy they had to be careful of how they treated the Hudson's Bay Company, they were very liable to take advantage of a stranger, even if he were a missionary. Knowing this, Mr. Winters gave Mr. Snow the chance of dealing with the Eskimo Chief through the Hudson's Bay Company, an offer which he thankfully accepted. According to this agreement the chief was to convey Mr. Snow and his few belongings to the Eskimo camp, to provide for his wants during winter and fetch him safely back to the fort by canoe as early in the spring as the river was clear of ice. In return for this he was to receive from the Company's store so many made beaver--one-third before leaving for his camp, one-third at Christmas, and the remainder in spring.

Fortunately, there never lived the man who was more easily satisfied than the Rev. Mr. Snow, and he was in his prime and of a robust constitution; and allow that the board and lodging may have been indescribable, he complained not, and when Mr. Browning and Mr. Winters asked him upon his return how he fared, he replied in the words he invariably used on such occasions: "Thank you. I had a nice quiet time."

Often afterwards inquisitive people tried to have him describe the domestic conditions existing in an ordinary "igloo"--wanted to know if it were true that the condition in which they entered their sleeping bags was the same as that in which they had entered the world, also, how of a biting, wintry morning the reverse transition could be at all possible. But he steadfastly from the first discountenanced any such curiosity, probably considering it contrary to the best traditions of a gentleman to make free reference to what he had seen in homes where he had been courteously and hospitably received, and none the less so where environment made it incumbent upon his entertainers to do things in an extremely simple and natural manner. However, while curious questions about the private manners of the Eskimo failed to elicit a revelation from Mr. Snow, they afforded him the opportunity, of which he never failed to take advantage, of remarking that though living in a severe climate, a beneficent Providence had enabled them (not necessarily him) to live in comfort and on the fat of the land.

Upon his return to Fort McPherson, Mr. Snow took charge of the Mission for three months, so as to leave Mr. Browning free to make extended visits to a number of Indian camps.

On his return they conjointly hired an Indian and his birch bark canoe for a journey up-stream to Fort Simpson, for however interested the Company's officers and the missionaries might be in the duties of their respective callings, after a year of isolation, a visit to the district fort, if duty would permit, was sure to be in line with inclination, especially in autumn when the brigade was expected from the south, and would bring news of one's distant friends; and there would also be opportunity to enjoy for at least a little while the stimulus and inspiration which is to be found in companionship with kindred souls.

To the missionary of the North, who in his travels oft has occasion to make use of the great MacKenzie River or one or other of its main tributaries, there was always at hand a striking metaphor, for they presented in their never-ceasing flow an apt figure of the passing of time, which, so far as the temporal life of the individual man extends, so soon merges into the fathomless ocean of eternity; but for the more practical purposes of life the finest metaphor lies up-stream, for he who is paddling his canoe in that direction against the opposing force that is ever threatening to drag him backwards, soon has the lesson driven home that, if there is to be good progress and a perfect end, there must be constant watchfulness and unflagging effort.

The two missionaries worked the same as their man. The tracking line was used most of the time; but occasionally all three paddled. The fly season was not quite over but the travellers protected their faces during the day with mosquito netting, and at night they smoked the last mosquito out of their tent and then closed it so tightly that no more could enter.

One night after having taken these precautions to ensure a comfortable night's rest, they discussed the social standing in the country of the Hudson's Bay Company officers, and also of the missionaries. It was noted that in any of the Indian languages the missionary was referred to as "a praying man," and if a bishop, as "a big praying man"; that a clerk in the Company's service was "a little master," a commissioned officer was "a master," or if governor or in charge of a district he was "a big master." It was also noted that Mr. Bayard would be spoken of in English as "district manager," in French as "le bourgeois," in Cree as "kihchi (big) ookimao," in Chipewyan as "bagothara chok," in Beaver as "meoti chok," and so with the other tribes, all applying the distinctive word, big.

"And what is your opinion as to all this bigness?" asked Mr. Snow.

"As a partial answer to that question let me quote from the book of Proverbs: 'The poor is hated even by his own neighbour, but the rich hath many friends, although in applying the proverb in the North or anywhere else, character counts for much, and so far as my knowledge goes, the case would be exceptional indeed, of a leading Company officer being honoured more on account of the position which he filled than because of the honourable manner in which he filled it. When the Indian calls him big master, he is in all honesty giving honour to whom honour is due."

"And now," said Mr. Snow, "by way of turning the searchlight on ourselves, may I ask, why should we not have as great influence over the Indians as the big masters themselves? If we filled our positions as faithfully as they fill theirs, would it not be so?"

Mr. Browning replied, "No doubt it is wholesome occasionally to bring the matter home to our consciences by asking these plain questions; but a comparison between the calling of the Company's officers and our own is not easily made, inasmuch as theirs is secular and ours religious, and their circumstances admit of their living as gentlemen who are not under the necessity of doing manual labour, while with ourselves it is quite different, and we know how apt people are to confound manual labour with menial labour, and to look down on those who do such things. And can we wonder at it? For if we ourselves see one of our fellow-missionaries plastered up with mud while engaged in plastering his house, we know that instead of thereby commending himself to our admiration he rather furnishes occasion for the thought that such earthiness is hardly compatible with his heavenly calling."

This discussion was continued a little longer and when it ended the two were in perfect concord in the opinion that when a missionary was endued with a right judgment and thoroughly devoted to his calling, he would so subordinate the lower things to the higher, that his manual labour, such as cooking, gardening and carpentering would become unsecularized in his conscience and in the sight of all with whom he had to do, and in that way neither he nor his work would suffer.

The missionaries arrived at Fort Norman next evening, where they accepted the invitation of the Larondes and stayed overnight. There they again met Père Vital, who was sincerely pleased to see them, and their words and manner made it very clear to him that the pleasure was mutual. When informed by him that owing to failing health he would shortly be leaving the North, they so feelingly expressed their sympathy that he was quite moved.

At the tea table enquiries were made about Maria, and when these had been answered, Mrs. Laronde said: "Maria was always one good girl, and I was very sorry when she go and get married; but very nearly all good girl do dat wen de right man come along." Mr. Laronde was a very quiet man, but he was French, and he bowed towards his spouse and said, "Merci, Madame," and everyone laughed heartily, because being such a quiet man the remark was so utterly unexpected.

Next morning the missionaries resumed their journey, bearing with them substantial tokens of the kindness of their host and hostess. They were accompanied to their canoe by every member of the little establishment, and there hearty hand-shaking and "bonjour, monsieur," or "bonjour, madame" took place, and finally when the three travellers were seated and were raising their paddles for the first dip, the little group ashore, led by the generous-minded priest, helped them forward on their way by shouting "bon voyage."

The usual meal on this voyage consisted of dried caribou meat--in the localism of the district, called "dog-ribs" owing to its appearance--and a small quantity of bannock; but for a little while after leaving Fort Norman, thanks to the generosity of the Larondes, they ate potatoes with their dog-ribs and raspberry jam with their bannock, and while doing so they remembered the channels through which these extras had come, and such expressions were to be heard as "the spirit that quickeneth," "the milk of human kindness," "practical religion," and so forth.

Making an average distance daily of thirty miles, they 'cached Fort Simpson a week ahead of the boats from the outh. During their stay at the place they were the Wests of the Rev. and Mrs. Oakly, with whom they had a most enjoyable visit. Mr. Oakly had been in charge of the Anglican Mission here for some years.

When that great event--the arrival of the brigade--at length occurred, the quietness which had prevailed gave place to a bustling activity which bore a slight resemblance to life in the city. Everyone seemed to feel that it was his or her chance to see a little of life and have a good time. The old-timers especially acted as if bound to compress as much enjoyment into the few days they were having with their friends as would last them till next year, when they might hope to come back and meet again.

Among the newcomers was an Anglican missionary fresh from England, two young Hudson's Bay clerks equally new to the country, of whom one was English and the other Scottish. Then there were the old-timers, Mr. and Mrs. Donald, with their protege, Miss Nellie Blain.

A young lady arriving in the North for a visit, or for any other reason, immediately became an object of great interest, especially among the eligible male population, not necessarily because she might be attractive, but just as likely because she was the only marriageable, educated white girl in the North. Think, then, of the stir created by the arrival of an unquestionably attractive young lady who had spoken and sung and laughed herself into favour with the boats' crews and people generally, all the way from Fort Garry to Fort Simpson. It was not to be wondered at that her name was on everybody's lips, and that more than one young gentleman in the country hoped that she would not long waste her companionship on a lady, and that whenever she decided on a change it might be his good fortune to be her choice. But as far as Fort Simpson was concerned, Mr. Bayard saw to it that his young lieutenants kept the rule against allowing private feelings to stand in the way of public duty, and all too soon when there ceased to be any more good business reasons why the pleasant assembling of themselves together should continue, Fort Simpson with all its attractions had to be left behind, and the Company's officers and the missionaries dispersed to their respective appointments--Mr. Donald accompanied by Mrs. Donald and Miss Blain, to resume charge at Fort Liard, Mr. Browning to continue his work at Forts McPherson and La Pierre House, and Mr. Snow--ever on the look-out for an open door--continued his journey up the MacKenzie River, and after putting in a winter at the three Hudson's Bay posts on Great Slave Lake, viz., Hay River, Resolution and Rae, went on southward to Fort Chipewyan in the following summer.

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